You didn't ask me, Alexis De Tocqueville
wannabes, but to understand the American people you need to experience three things.
First, you need to spend a day at Walt Disney World. Not Disneyland, out in California, but Disneyworld in Orlando. There you will see all walks of life, all shapes, all colors, all sizes, walking through an orgy of consumerism and fantasy. Don't look or think too much about the park itself, which is simply giving the people what they want in the most capitalistic way possible, but observe the people walking around, the folks in the Ron Jon T-shirts, the low-cut tops showing off tattoos that shouldn't be there, the Florida Gator fans.
You also need to spend a weekend at Las Vegas. Not spending the time at the blackjack tables or poker dens trying to make it rich, understand, but watching the people, the paysan who acts like he's in control when the ace and the jack come out for him, the crying woman running after the man who obviously bet more money than the couple could afford. Las Vegas shows extremes of emotion - highs that shouldn't happen, lows that are tragic, all in the pursuit of being the lucky one tonight.
You also need to attend a college football game. Not watching it on TV, understand, but being physically at the game, smelling the food, seeing the pageantry, feeling the intensity of the crowd, seeing two sets of emotions on hand, with only one set of emotions winning on the day. Read more »